Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Federal, State, & Local Governments

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: Census.govBusiness & IndustryFederal, State, & Local Governments › Definitions

Definitions

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A
  • Active Members (of retirement systems) – See Membership.
  • Administrative Costs (of retirement systems) – Expenses paid out of the retirement fund for salaries and wages and current operation costs of the pension plan administrative staff, as well as for investment costs, are classified as “other” payments.
  • Agency and private trust transactions – Excluded from Census Bureau data on government finances because it involves receipt, holding, and disbursement of moneys by the government as agent or trustee for other governments or private persons, such as collection of local government taxes, collection of Federal income taxes and social security “taxes,” receipt and return of guarantee deposits, and the like.
  • Agriculture – Development and conservation of natural resources for agricultural purposes. Includes provision and support of agricultural extension services, experiment stations, fairs, associations, and other agricultural activities; promotion, improvement, regulation, and protection of agricultural production, processing, and marketing; and the like. Excludes activities related to fish and game, forestry, irrigation, flood control, and other conservation activities. See Natural resources.
  • Aid to local governments – See Intergovernmental expenditure.
  • Air transportation – Construction, maintenance, operation, and support of airport facilities.
  • Alcohol beverages – See under License taxes and Sales and gross receipts taxes.
  • Amusements – See under License taxes and Sales and gross receipts taxes.
  • Assistance and subsidies – Cash contributions and subsidies to persons, not in payments for goods or services or claims against the government. For local governments, this object category comprises only direct cash assistance payments to public welfare recipients. For states, it includes also veterans' bonuses and direct cash grants for tuition, scholarships, and aid to nonpublic education institutions.
  • Auxiliary enterprises – State institutions of higher education. Dormitories, cafeterias, athletic contests, lunchroom, student activities, and other auxiliary activities of state institutions of higher education financed mainly by revenue from charges.

Back to top

B
  • Beneficiaries – See Membership.
  • Benefits – Payments to which participants may be entitled under a pension plan, including pension benefits, death and disability benefits due on termination of employment and all other benefits directly paid from the retirement fund to recipients during the fiscal year surveyed.
  • Benefits, insurance trusts – See Insurance trust expenditure.
  • Bond funds – Funds established to account for the proceeds of bond issues pending their disbursement.
  • Borrowing – Long-term debt incurred, other than to refund existing long-term debt, plus any net increase in short-term debt outstanding.

Back to top

C
  • Capital outlay – Direct expenditure for contract or force account construction of buildings, grounds, and other improvements, and purchase of equipment, land, and existing structures. Includes amounts for additions, replacements, and major alterations to fixed works and structures. However, expenditure for repairs to such works and structures is classified as current operation expenditure. See Construction and Equipment.
  • Cash and deposits – Cash on hand and demand and savings or time deposits.
  • Cash and Securities – Cash, deposits, government securities, bonds, stocks, etc., accumulated by a pension fund for the purpose of meeting retirement benefits when they become due.

    Government securities include U. S. Treasury bonds, notes, and Federal Financing Bank and other federal agency securities. Non-government securities include stocks, bonds, federally-sponsored agency securities, investments held in trust, mutual funds, and direct loans.

    Investments held in trust may include funds administered by private agencies, guaranteed investment accounts, shares held in government common fund accounts, and loans made to employees.

    Common funds are prorated using available secondary sources into appropriate investment detail “stocks, bonds, federal securities, etc.”. Beginning in 2001–2002, corporate bonds and stocks are posted at market or fair market value. Federal securities include U.S. Treasury notes; federal agency obligations include mortgage-backed securities of the Government National Mortgage Association, and bonds issued by the Commodity Credit Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority, and other agencies.

    Federal securities may include “where totals alone are supplied” bonds issued by agencies operating under federal authority but privately administered. Mortgages may include mortgage-backed securities where detail is unknown. Short–term funds such as cash on hand, demand deposits, and time deposits such as certificates of deposits are classified as “cash and deposits,” but may include federal securities or commercial and finance company paper not shown in detail.
  • Cash and security holdings – Cash and deposits and governmental and private securities “bonds, notes, mortgages, corporate stocks, etc., including loans and other credit paper held by state loan and investment funds” except holdings of agency and private trust funds. Includes fund investments in securities issued by government concerned but does not include interfund loans, receivables, and the value of real property and other fixed assets.
  • Cash assistance – Direct cash payments to beneficiaries of public welfare programs. See Public welfare.
  • Categorical assistance programs – Old Age Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families “TANF”, and Medical Assistance. See Public welfare.
  • Charges and miscellaneous general revenue – General revenue other than taxes and intergovernmental revenue.
  • Commercial activities, N.E.C. – See Miscellaneous commercial activities.
  • Construction – Production of fixed works and structures additions, replacements, and major alterations, including planning and design of specific projects, site improvements, and provision of equipment and facilities that are integral parts of a structure. Includes contract construction, undertaken on a contract basis by private contractors, and force account construction, undertaken with direct use of material and labor by the government.
  • Contributions – Amounts paid into a pension fund by the parent government or employees pursuant to terms of the fund, state law, actuarial calculations, or other basis for determinations. For multiple-employer pension plans, includes contributions received from other governments and their employees (where applicable). Government contributions may come from any source including amounts from dedicated taxes, state payments, or general fund transfers. Excludes any amounts received for transmittal to the Federal Social Security System, amounts received from the liquidation of investments, and any other receipts for social insurance programs not part of the pension funds.
  • Contributions, insurance trust – Amounts derived from contributions, assessments, premiums, "taxes," etc., required of employers and employees for financing of compulsory or voluntary social insurance programs operated by the government. Any contributions by a government to a social insurance system it administers (either as employer contributions or for general financial support) are excluded from insurance trust revenue. However, such contributions are included in exhibit statistics on insurance trust system receipts.
  • Corporation net income taxes – Taxes on net income of corporations and unincorporated businesses (when taxed separately from individual income). Includes distinctively imposed net income taxes on special kinds of corporations (e.g. financial institutions).
  • Correction – Confinement and correction of adults and minors convicted of offenses against the law, and pardon, probation, and parole activities.
  • Correctional institutions – State prisons, reformatories, houses of correction, and other state institutions for the confinement and correction of convicted persons and juveniles. Includes only state-operated facilities; excludes cost of maintaining prisoners in institutions of other governments.
  • County governments – Organized local governments authorized in state constitutions and statutes and established to provide general government; includes those governments designed as counties, parishes in Louisiana, and boroughs in Alaska.
  • Current charges – Amounts received from the public for performance of specific services benefitting the person charged, and from sales of commodities and services, except liquor store sales. Includes fees, assessments, and other reimbursements for current services, rents and sales derived from commodities or services furnished incident to the performance of particular functions, gross income of commercial activities, and the like. Excludes amounts received from other governments (see Intergovernmental revenue) and interdepartmental charges and transfers. Current charges are distinguished from license taxes, which relate to privileges granted by the government or regulatory measures for the protection of the public.
  • Current expenditure – All expenditures with the exception of capital outlay. Includes current operations, assistance and subsidies, interest on debt, and insurance benefits and payments.
  • Current operation – Direct expenditure for compensation of own officers and employees and for supplies, materials, and contractual services except amounts for capital outlay.

Back to top

D
  • Death and gift taxes – Taxes imposed on transfer of property at death, in contemplation of death, or as a gift.
  • Debt – All long-term credit obligations of the government and its agencies whether backed by the governments' full faith and credit or nonguaranteed, and all interest-bearing short-term credit obligations. Includes judgments, mortgages, and revenue bonds, as well as general obligations bonds, notes, and interest-bearing warrants. Excludes noninterest-bearing short-term obligations, interfund obligation, amounts owed in a trust or agency capacity, advances and contingent loans from other governments, and rights of individuals to benefits from government-administered employee retirement funds. Refunding of long-term debt is the issuance of long-term obligations in exchange for, or to finance, the retirement of outstanding long term debt, generally to obtain more favorable interest rates.
  • Debt issued – See Long-term debt issued.
  • Debt offsets – See Long-term debt offsets.
  • Debt outstanding – All debt obligations remaining unpaid on the date specified.
  • Debt redemption – Long-term debt redeemed (i.e., amounts retired other than by refunding) plus any net decrease in short-term debt outstanding.
  • Debt retired – See Long-term debt retired.
  • Direct expenditure – Payments to employees, suppliers, contractors, beneficiaries, and other final recipients of government payments (i.e., all expenditure other than Intergovernmental expenditure).
  • Document and stock transfer taxes – Taxes on the recording, registering, and transfer of documents such as mortgages, deeds, and securities, except taxes on recording or transfer of motor vehicle titles, which are classified elsewhere.

Back to top

E
  • Earnings on Investments – Interest, dividends, rents, and other earnings on investments. Includes realized and unrealized gains on sale of investments net of any realized or unrealized losses based on reporting market value for corporate bonds and stocks.
  • Earnings on investments, insurance trust revenue – Interest, dividends, and other earnings on securities held as assets to provide income for insurance trust programs. Includes earnings on securities of state government held by its own insurance trust funds but excludes rental income from real property held by insurance trust funds and rented to other State agencies.
  • Education – Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions (e.g., for blind, deaf, and other handicapped individuals), and educational programs for adults, veterans, and other special classes. State institutions of higher education includes activities of institutions operated by the state, except that agricultural extension services and experiment stations are classified under Natural resources and hospitals serving the public are classified under Hospitals. Revenue and expenditure for dormitories, cafeterias, athletic events, bookstores, and other auxiliary enterprises financed mainly through charges for services are reported on a gross basis.

    Elementary and secondary education comprises payments for instructional, support services, and other activities of local public schools for kindergarten through high school programs. Direct state expenditure for other education includes state educational administration and services, tuition grants, fellowships, aid to private schools, and special programs.
  • Education services – Comprises the functions of Education and Libraries.
  • Electric power – Operation and maintenance of electric power system including production or acquisition and distribution of electric power. See Utility.
  • Elementary and secondary education – All activities associated with the operation of public elementary and secondary schools and locally operated vocational-technical schools. Special education programs operated by elementary and secondary school systems are also included as are all ancillary services associated with the operation of schools, such as pupil transportation and food service. Instructional employees includes not only classroom teachers, but also principals, supervisors of instruction, librarians, teacher aides, library aides, and guidance and psychological personnel. Other employees includes all persons not included as instructional employees (e.g., school superintendents and other administrative personnel, clerical and secretarial staffs, plant operation and maintenance personnel, health and recreation employees, transportation and food service personnel, and any student employees).
  • Employees – Employees include all persons paid for personal services performed in the indicated pay period, including any persons in a paid leave status. Employees who have multiple responsibilities are reported once at the functional classification which is their primary responsibility. Contractors and their employees are excluded.
    See also: Full-time employees, Part-time employees, Full-time equivalent employment
  • Employee-retirement expenditure – Cash payments to beneficiaries (including withdrawals of contributions) of government-administered employee-retirement systems, local government contributions to state-administered employee-retirement systems, and noncontributory gratuities paid to former employees; these are classed under General expenditure.
  • Employee-retirement revenue – Revenue from contributions required of employees for financing government-administered employee-retirement systems, earnings on investments held for such systems, and receipts of state payments for employees covered by government systems. Excludes any contributions by government, either as employer contributions or for general financial support, to an employee-retirement system. Tax proceeds, donations, and any forms of revenue other than those enumerated above as classified as general revenue rather than employee-retirement revenue, even though such amounts may be received specifically for employee-retirement purposes. For states, includes employer contributions from local governments, for such systems covering local government employees.
  • Employee-retirement system – A government-administered contributory plan for financing retirement and associated benefits for state or local government employees. Does not include noncontributory plans. See Insurance trust system.
  • Employment security administration – Administration of unemployment compensation, public employment offices, and related services, and veterans' readjustment allowances. See Unemployment compensation expenditure for benefit payments under this program.
  • Environment and housing – Comprises the functions Natural resources, parks and recreation, Housing and community development, Sewerage, and Solid waste management.
  • Equipment – Apparatus, furnishings, motor vehicles, office machines, and the like having an expected life of more than 5 years. Equipment expenditure consists only of amounts for purchase of equipment, including both additional equipment and replacements. Expenditures for facilities that are integral parts of structures are classified as expenditure for construction or for purchase of land and existing structures.
  • Expenditure – All amounts of money paid out by a government--net of recoveries and other correcting transactions-- other than for retirement of debt, investment in securities, extension of credit, or as agency transactions. Note that expenditure includes only external transactions of a government and excludes noncash transactions such as the provision of perquisites or other payments in kind.

Back to top

F
  • Financial administration – Activities involving finance and taxation. Includes central agencies for accounting, auditing, and budgeting; the supervision of local government finances; tax administration; collection, custody, and disbursement of funds; administration of employee-retirement systems; debt and investment administration; and the like.
  • Fines and forfeits – Penalties imposed for violation of law and forfeits of amounts on deposit as performance guarantees. Does not include penalties on delinquent taxes.
  • Fire protection – Fire fighting organization and auxiliary services; fire inspection and investigation; support of volunteer fire forces; and other fire prevention activities. Includes cost of fire fighting facilities, such as fire hydrants and water, furnished by other agencies of the government.
  • Fiscal year – The 12-month period at the end of which the government or any government agency determines its financial condition and the results of its operations and closes its books.
  • Fish and game – Conservation and development of fish and game resources through regulation, protection, and propagation.
  • Forestry – Conservation, development, and promotion of forests and forest products. Includes forest fire prevention and forest fire-fighting activities.
  • Full-faith and credit debt – Long-term debt for which the credit of the government concerned, implying the power of taxation, is unconditionally pledged. Includes debt payable initially from specific taxes on nontax sources, but representing a liability payable from any other available resources if the pledged sources are insufficient.
  • Full-Time Employees – Persons employed during the pay period to work the number of hours per week that represents regular full-time employment. Included are full-time temporary or seasonal employees who are working the number of hours that represent full-time employment.
  • Full-Time Equivalent Employment – Full-time equivalent is a computed statistic representing the number of full-time employees that could have been employed if the reported number of hours worked by part-time employees had been worked by full-time employees. This statistic is calculated separately for each function of a government by dividing the “part- time hours paid” by the standard number of hours for full-time employees in the particular government and then adding the resulting quotient to the number of full-time employees.
  • Functions – Public purposes served by governmental activities (education, highways, public welfare, etc.). Expenditure for each function includes amounts for all types of expenditure serving the purpose concerned.
  • Fund – An accounting device established to control receipt and disbursement of income from sources set aside to support specific activities or attain certain objectives. In the accounts of individual governments, each fund is treated as a distinct fiscal entity. In Census Bureau statistics on government finance, however, transactions of funds are consolidated in accordance with the principles described in the Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual.

Back to top

G
  • Gas supply – Operation and maintenance of gas supply systems including acquisition and distribution of natural gas. See Utility.
  • General debt – All debt other than that identified as having been issued specifically for utility purposes. See Utility debt.
  • General expenditure – All government expenditure other than the specifically enumerated kinds of expenditure classified as Utility expenditure, Liquor stores expenditure, and Employee-retirement or other Insurance trust expenditure.
  • General expenditure, N.E.C. – General expenditure for purposes and activities not falling within any standard functional category and unallocated amounts relating to two or more functions.
  • General local government support – Amounts distributed to local governments without restriction of function or purpose to which applicable.
  • General obligation debt – Long-term full faith and credit obligations other than those payable initially from nontax revenue. Includes debt payable in the first instance from particular earmarked taxes, such as motor fuel sales taxes or property taxes. See also Full-faith and credit debt.
  • General public buildings – Provision and maintenance of public buildings not allocated to particular functions.
  • General revenue – All government revenue except Liquor stores revenue, Insurance trust revenue, and Utility revenue. The basis for distinction is not the fund or administrative unit receiving particular amounts, but rather the nature of the revenue sources concerned.
  • General sale or gross receipts taxes – See Sales and gross receipt taxes.
  • Governmental administration – Comprises the functions of Financial administration, Judicial and legal, and General public buildings; and activities of the governing body, office of the chief executive, and central staff services and agencies concerned with personnel administration, recording, planning, zoning, and the like.

Back to top

H
  • Health – Outpatient health services, other than hospital care, including: public health administration; research and education; categorical health programs; treatment and immunization clinics; nursing; environmental health activities such as air and water pollution control; ambulance service if provided separately from fire protection services, and other general public health activities such as mosquito abatement. School health services provided by health agencies (rather than school agencies) are included here. Sewage treatment operations are classified under Sewerage.
  • Higher education – Includes local government degree granting institutions which provide academic training above grade 12. Instructional employees includes persons engaged in teaching and related academic research.
  • Highways – Construction, maintenance, and operation of highways, streets, and related structures, including toll highways, bridges, tunnels, ferries, street lighting and snow and ice removal. However, highway policing and traffic control are classed under Police protection.
  • Hospitals – Financing, construction acquisition, maintenance or operation of hospital facilities, provision of hospital care, and support of public or private hospitals. Own hospitals are facilities administered directly by the government concerned; Other hospitals refers to support for hospital services in private hospitals or other governments. However, see Public welfare concerning vendor payments under welfare programs. Nursing homes are included under Public welfare unless they are directly associated with a government hospital.
  • Housing and community development – Construction and operation of housing and redevelopment projects, and other activities to promote or aid housing and community development.

Back to top

I
  • Inactive Members – See Membership (of retirement systems).
  • Individual income taxes – Taxes on individuals measured by net income and taxes distinctively imposed on special types of income (e.g., interest, dividends, income from intangibles, etc.).
  • Insurance benefits and repayments – Social insurance payments to beneficiaries, employee-retirement annuities and other benefits, and withdrawals of insurance or employee retirement contributions. Includes only amounts paid to beneficiaries; administrative expenditure for such activities are classified as Current operation.
  • Insurance sales and gross receipts taxes – See Sales and gross receipts taxes.
  • Insurance trust expenditure – Cash payments to beneficiaries (including withdrawals of retirement contributions) of employee retirement, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, and disability benefit social insurance programs. (See Insurance trust system, below). Excludes cost of administering insurance trust activities, state contributions of programs administered by the state or by the federal government, intergovernmental expenditure for support of locally administered employee-retirement systems, and noncontributory gratuities paid to former employees.
  • Insurance trust revenue – Revenue from contributions required of employers and employees for financing social insurance programs operated by the government (see Insurance trust system, below) and earnings on assets held for such systems. Excludes any contributions by a government-either as employer contributions or for general financial support-to a social insurance system it administers. Note that tax proceeds, donations, and any forms of revenue other than those enumerated above are classified as general revenue, even though such amounts may be received specifically for insurance trust purposes.
  • Insurance trust system. – A government-administered plan for compulsory or voluntary social insurance (insurance protection of persons or their survivors against economic hazards arising from retirement, disability, death, accident, illness, unemployment, etc.) through accumulation of assets from contributions, assessments, premiums, and the like collected from employers and employees for use in making cash benefit payments to eligible persons covered by the system. Comprises Employee retirement, Unemployment compensation, Workers' compensation, and Miscellaneous ( accident, sickness, and other disability benefit) systems. In exhibit statistics, each insurance trust system is treated as an entity, with its transactions including intragovernmental amounts. However, intragovernmental transactions are excluded from the insurance trust components of revenue and expenditure. (See Insurance trust revenue and Insurance trust expenditure.)
  • Interest earnings – Interest earned on deposits and securities, including amounts for accrued interest on investment securities sold. However, receipts for accrued interest on bonds issued are classified as offsets to interest expenditure. Note that interest earnings shown under general revenue do not include earnings on assets of employee-retirement systems.
  • Interest expenditure – Amounts paid for the use of borrowed money. Interest on utility debt is included in Utility expenditure.
  • Intergovernmental expenditure – Amounts paid to other governments as fiscal aid in the form of shared revenues and grants-in-aid, as reimbursements for performance of general government activities and for specific services for the paying government, or in lieu of taxes. Excludes amounts paid to other governments for purchase of commodities, property, or utility services, any tax imposed and paid as such, and employer contributions for social insurance-e.g., contributions to the Federal Government for Old Age, Survivors', Disability, and Health Insurance for government employees.
  • Intergovernmental revenue – Amounts received from other governments as fiscal aid in the form of shared revenues and grants-in-aid, as reimbursements for performance of general government functions and specific services for the paying government (e.g., care of prisoners or contractual research), or in lieu of taxes, Excludes amounts received from other governments for sale of property, commodities, and utility services. All intergovernmental revenue is classified as General revenue.
  • Intergovernmental revenue for general local government support - Fiscal aid that allows the receiving government unrestricted use as to function or purpose.
  • Intergovernmental revenue from federal government – Intergovernmental revenue received by a government directly from the federal government. For local governments, excludes federal aid channeled through state governments, which is considered as Intergovernmental revenue from state government.
  • Intergovernmental revenue from local governments – Amounts from local governments: for shares in financial support of programs administered by the state; for reimbursements of services performed or expenditures made for them by the state; for application to debt services on state debt issued for their benefit; and for repayment of advances and contingent loans extended to them. Does not include local government contributions to state-administered employee retirement or other insurance trust systems, which are classified as insurance trust revenue, or agency transactions (see Agency and private trust transactions). Excludes proceeds from interest on local government securities held by the state and proceeds from state taxes on local government facilities.
  • Intergovernmental revenue from state government – All intergovernmental revenue received from the state government. For local governments, includes amounts originally from the federal government but channeled through the state.

Back to top

J
  • Judicial and legal (government finance statistics) – Includes all court and court related activities (except probation and parole activities which are included at the “Correction” function), court activities of sheriff's offices, prosecuting attorneys' and public defender's offices, legal departments, and attorneys providing government-wide legal service.
  • Judicial and legal (government employment statistics) – Courts and activities associated with courts including law libraries, prosecutorial and defendant programs, probate functions, and juries.

Back to top

K

Back to top


L
  • Land and existing structures, capital outlay expenditures – Purchase of these assets as such, purchase of rights-of-way, payments on capital leases, and title search and similar activity associated with the purchase transactions. See Capital outlay.
  • Libraries – Provision and support of public library facilities and services.
  • License taxes – Taxes exacted (either for revenue raising or for regulation) as a condition to the exercise of a business or nonbusiness privilege, at a flat rate or measured by such bases as capital stock, capital surplus, number of business units, or capacity. Excludes taxes measured directly by transactions, gross or net income, or value of property except those to which only nominal rates apply. /License” based on these latter measures, other than those at nominal rates, are classified according to the measure concerned. Includes “fees” related to licensing activities‘‘automobile inspection, gasoline and oil inspection, professional examinations and licenses, etc.‘‘ as well as license taxes producing substantial revenue.
    1. License taxes--Alcoholic beverages - Licenses for manufacturing, importing, wholesaling, and retailing alcoholic beverages other than those based on volume or value of transactions or assessed value of property.
    2. License taxes--Amusements – License taxes imposed on amusement businesses generally or on specific amusement enterprises (race tracks, theaters, athletic events, etc.). Does not include “licenses” based on value or number of admissions, amount of wagers, or gross or net income, which are classified elsewhere.
    3. License taxes--Corporations in general – Franchise license taxes, organization, filing, and entrance fees, and other license taxes which are applicable, with only specific exceptions, to all corporations. Does not include corporation taxes based on value of property, net income, or gross receipts from sales, or taxes imposed distinctively on particular types of corporations (public utilities, insurance companies, etc.).
    4. License taxes--Hunting and fishing – Commercial and noncommercial hunting and fishing licenses and shipping permits.
    5. License taxes--Motor vehicles – License taxes imposed on owners or operators of motor vehicle, commercial and noncommercial, for the right to use public highways, including charges for title registration and inspection of vehicles. Does not include personal property taxes or sales and gross receipts taxes relating to motor carriers based on assessed value of property, gross receipts, or net income, or other taxes on the business of motor transport.
    6. License taxes--Motor vehicle operators – Licenses for privilege of driving motor vehicles, including both private and commercial licenses.
    7. License taxes--Occupations and businesses, n.e.c. – License taxes (including examination and inspection frees) required of persons engaging in particular professions, trades, or occupations, and such taxes on businesses not elsewhere classified. Includes charges relating to inspection and marketing of seed, feed, fertilizer, gasoline, oil, citrus fruit, and other commodities, and chain store licenses, as well as licenses relating to operation of particular business enterprises.
    8. License taxes--Public utilities – License taxes distinctively imposed on public passenger and freight transportation companies, telephone, telegraph, and light and power companies, and other public utility companies including government-owned utilities. Does not include taxes measured by gross or net income, units of service sold, or value of property.
    9. Other license taxes – License taxes not listed separately(e.g., animal licenses, marriage licenses, registration fees on pleasure boats and aircraft, individual permits to purchase liquor, and other nonbusiness privileges).
  • Liquor stores – Alcoholic beverage distribution facilities operated by state and local governments maintaining alcoholic beverage monopoly systems. Liquor stores revenue and Liquor stores expenditure, as defined under the headings below, are included in revenue and expenditure.
  • Liquor stores expenditure – Expenditure for purchase of liquor for resale and provision and operation of government-maintained alcoholic beverage monopoly systems. Excludes expenditure for law enforcement and licensing activities carried out in conjunction with liquor store operations.
  • Liquor stores revenue – Amounts received from sale of liquor by state and/or local liquor store operations. Excludes any state taxes collected by state liquor monopoly systems.
  • Long-term debt – Debt payable more than 1 year after date of issue.
  • Long-term debt issued – The par value of long-term debt obligations incurred during the fiscal period concerned, including funding and refunding obligations. Debt obligation authorized but not actually incurred during the fiscal period are not included. Refunding issues of long-term debt represents the par value of refunding bonds issued during the fiscal year.
  • Long-term debt offsets – Cash and investment assets of sinking funds and other reserve funds, however designated, which are specifically held for redemption of long-term debt, including bond reserve funds, deposits with fiscal agents for the redemption of uncancelled debt, and balances in refunding bond accounts held pending completion of refunding transactions.
  • Long-term debt refunded – See under Long-term debt retired.
  • Long-term debt retired – The par value of long-term debt obligations liquidated by repayment or exchange, including debt retired by refunding operations. Long-term debt refunded is the par value of long-term debt retired during the year as a result of refund transactions.

Back to top

M
  • Membership (of retirement systems) – Active members include employees making payments to contributory pension plans, as well as other employees on whose behalf contributions are made by the sponsoring government (noncontributory retirement systems). Inactive members are former employees or others on extended leave who have retained retirement credits. Beneficiaries are retirees who may receive lump-sum benefit payments on retirement or who may elect to receive benefits periodically, depending on the provisions of a pension plan. Retirement beneficiaries receiving monthly or other periodic payments are classified as (1) retired on account of age or service, (2) retired on account of disability, and (3) survivors of deceased former active members. When detail is not available, all retirees receiving benefits periodically are classed as age or service participants.
  • Miscellaneous and unallocable expenditure – General expenditure for purposes and activities not falling within any standard functional category and unallocated amounts relating to two or more functions.
  • Miscellaneous commercial activities – Provision and operation of commercial facilities not classified under particular functions. Includes a bank (North Dakota), and cement plant, hail insurance systems, and the like.
  • Motor fuel sales taxes – See Sales and gross receipts taxes.
  • Motor vehicle licenses taxes – See License taxes.
  • Municipal governments – Organized local governments authorized in state constitutions and statutes and established to provide government for a specific concentration of population in a defined area; includes those governments designated as cities, villages, boroughs (except in Alaska), and towns (except in the six New England states, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin).

Back to top

N
  • National defense and international relations – Includes activities of the Federal Government associated with national defense and international relations, including primarily the Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force; Department of State; U.S. Information Agency; and the Defense Logistics Agency. Defense related activities of State and local governments, including National Guard and civil defense, are classified at the /All other and unallocable0 category.
  • Natural resources – Conservation, promotion, and development of natural resources, such as soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife. Includes irrigation, drainage, flood control, forestry and fire protection, soil reclamation, soil and water conservation, fish and game programs, and agricultural fairs.
  • N.E.C. – Not elsewhere classified.
  • Net long-term debt – Long-term debt outstanding minus long-term debt offsets.
  • Nonguaranteed debt – Long-term debt payable solely from pledged specific sources--e.g., for earnings of revenue- producing activities (utilities, sewage disposal plants, toll bridges, etc.) from special assessments, or from specific nonproperty taxes. Includes only debt that does not constitute an obligation against any other resource of the government if the pledged sources are insufficient.

Back to top

O
  • Occupations and business license taxes – See License taxes.
  • Old-age assistance – See Public welfare.
  • Other and unallocable expenditure – General expenditure for purposes and activities not falling within any standard functional category and unallocated amounts relating to two or more functions.
  • Other government administration – Applies to the legislative and government-wide administrative agencies of governments. Included here are overall planning and zoning activities, and central personnel and administrative activities. This function is not applied to school district or special district governments.

Back to top

P
  • Parking facilities – Construction, purchase, maintenance, and operation of public-use parking lots, garages, parking meters, and other distinctive parking facilities on a commercial basis.
  • Parks and recreation – Provision and support of recreational and cultural-scientific facilities and activities including golf courses, play fields, playgrounds, public beaches, swimming pools, tennis courts, parks, auditoriums, stadiums, auto camps, recreation piers, marinas, botanical gardens, galleries, museums, and zoos. Also includes building and operation of convention centers and exhibition halls.
  • Part-Time Employees – Employees--Persons paid on a part-time basis during the designated pay period. Included are those daily or hourly employees usually engaged for less than the regular full-time workweek, as well as any part-time paid officials.
  • Police protection – Preservation of law and order and traffic safety. Includes police patrols and communications, crime prevention activities, detention and custody of persons awaiting trial, traffic safety, and vehicular inspection.
  • Property taxes – Taxes conditioned on ownership of property and measured by its value. Includes general property taxes related to property as a whole, real and personal, tangible or intangible, whether taxed at a single rate or at classified rates, and taxes on selected types of property, such as motor vehicles, or on certain or all intangibles.
  • Property tax relief – Amounts received distinctly as reimbursement for state-mandated tax relief programs which have resulted in foregone tax revenue. Includes payments under property tax relief, renters relief, and similar programs.
  • Protective inspection and regulation – Regulation of private enterprise for the protection of the public and inspection of hazardous activities except for major functions, such as fire prevention, health, natural resources, etc. Distinctive licensing collection activities are classed under Financial administration.
  • Public safety – Comprises the functions of Police protection, Fire protection, Correction, and Protective inspection and regulation.
  • Public utility taxes – See License taxes and sales and gross receipts taxes.
  • Public welfare – Support of and assistance to needy persons contingent upon their need. Excludes pensions to former employees and other benefits not contingent on need. Expenditures under this heading include: Cash assistance paid directly to needy persons under the categorical programs Old Age Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and under any other welfare programs; Vendor payments made directly to private purveyors for medical care, burials, and other commodities and services provided under welfare programs; and provision and operation by the government of welfare institutions. Other public welfare includes payments to other governments for welfare purposes, amounts for administration, support of private welfare agencies, and other public welfare services. Health and hospital services provided directly by the government through its own hospitals and health agencies, and any payments to other governments for such purposes are classed under those functional headings rather than here.
  • Purchase of land and existing structures – Purchase of these assets as such, purchase of rights-of-way, and title search and similar activity associated with the purchase transactions.

Back to top

Q

Back to top

R
  • Refunding – The issuance of long-term debt in exchange for, or to provide funds for, the retirement of long-term debt outstanding.
  • Regular highway facilities – State expenditure for highways, other than toll facilities, is classified under this heading.
  • Rents and royalties – Rents from leased properties, mineral leases, royalties, and miscellaneous rentals not relating to facilities incident to the performance of particular functions. Rental revenue from such facilities is classified as revenue from current charges for the activity of the function concerned.
  • Retirement System – A pension plan in which investments, contributions, and benefits are administered as a separate entity independent of the parent government general fund. Assets are accumulated and benefits paid under a particular set of actuarial assumptions, including employee age, compensation, and service credits. Includes single employer systems, in which one government is the sole sponsor of the pension plan, as well as multiple employer systems, where two or more governments maintain membership on behalf of their employees. These multiple employer systems typically include state plans administered primarily for teachers, policemen, firemen, and other local government employees. Normally only funded pension plans are included, in which contributions are made and assets accumulated to pay benefits to potential recipients before cash payments to recipients are actually required. Some unfunded ("pay-as-you-go") plans may be included where this is a temporary condition, in which no contributions are made from any source before benefits are actually paid to retirees and other beneficiaries. Excludes nongovernment administered pension plans, including those where substantial administrative authority over investment transactions and benefit payments has been delegated or contracted out to insurance companies or other private agencies.
  • Revenue – All amounts of money received by a government from external sources--net of refunds and other correcting transactions--other than from issuance of debt, liquidation of investments, and as agency and private trust transactions. Note that revenue excludes noncash transactions such as receipt of services, commodities, or other “receipts in kind.”

Back to top

S
  • Salaries and wages – Amount expended for compensation of employees. Consists of gross amounts without deduction of withholdings for income tax, social security, or retirement coverage. Includes amounts for labor in force account construction projects.
  • Sale of property – Sale of real property and improvements. Excludes sale of securities and sale of commodities, equipment, and other personal property.
  • Sales and gross receipts taxes – Taxes, including: “licenses” at more than nominal rates, based on volume or value of transfers of goods or services; upon gross receipts, or upon gross income; and related taxes based upon use, storage, production (other than severance of natural resources), importation, or consumption of goods. Dealer discounts of “commissions” allowed to merchants for collection of taxes from consumers are excluded. Comprises:
  1. General sales or gross receipts taxes – Sales or gross receipts taxes which are applicable with only specified exceptions to all types of goods and services, or all gross income, whether at a single rate or at classified rates. Taxes imposed distinctively upon sales or gross receipts from selected commodities, services, or business are reported separately under categories one through eight below.
  2. Selective sales and gross receipts taxes – Sales and gross receipts taxes imposed on sales of particular commodities or services or gross receipts of particular businesses, separately and apart from the application of general sales and gross receipts taxes.
Specific selective sales taxes included are shown in categories one through eight below.
  1. Alcoholic beverages – Selective sales and gross receipts taxes on alcoholic beverages.
  2. Amusements – Selective sales and gross receipts taxes on admission tickets or admission charges and on gross receipts of all or specified types of amusement businesses.
  3. Insurance – Taxes imposed distinctively on insurance companies and measured by gross premiums or adjusted gross premiums.
  4. Motor fuels – Selective sales and gross receipts taxes on gasoline, diesel oil, and other fuels used in motor vehicles, including aircraft fuel. Note that any amounts refunded are deducted from gross collections.
  5. Parimutuels – Taxes measured by amounts wagered at race tracks, including “breakage” collected by the government.
  6. Public utilities – Taxes imposed distinctively on public passenger and freight transportation companies, telephone, telegraph, and light and power companies, and other public utility companies measured by gross receipts, gross earnings, or units of service sold. Taxes levied on such companies on other bases are classified elsewhere in accordance with the nature of the tax.
  7. Tobacco products – Selective sales and gross receipts taxes on tobacco products, including cigarette tubes and papers.
  8. Other selective sales and gross receipts taxes – Selective sales and gross receipts taxes relating to specific commodities, businesses, or services not separately enumerated (lubrication oil, fuel other than motor fuel, meals, margarine, cement, etc.).
  • Sanitation – Comprises Sewerage and Solid waste management (see below). Sanitary engineering, smoke regulation, and other health activities are classified under Health.
  • School district governments – Organized local entities providing public elementary, secondary, and for higher education which, under state law, have sufficient administration and fiscal autonomy to qualify as separate governments. Excludes dependent public school systems of county, municipal, township, or state governments.
  • Securities – Stocks and bonds, notes, mortgages, and other formal evidences of indebtedness.
  • Selective sales and gross receipts taxes – See Sales and gross receipts taxes.
  • Severance taxes – Taxes imposed distinctively on removal of natural products (e.g., oil, gas, other minerals, timber, fish, etc.) from land or water and measured by value or quantity of products removed or sold.
  • Sewerage – Provision of sanitary and storm sewers and sewage disposal facilities and services, and payments to other governments for such purposes.
  • Short-term debt – Interest-bearing debt payable within 1 year from date of issue, such as bond anticipation notes, bank loans, and tax anticipation notes and warrants. Includes obligations having no fixed maturity date if payable from a tax levied for collection in the year of their issuance.
  • Sinking funds – Funds established specifically for the redemption of Long-term debt principal.
  • Social insurance administration – For state and local governments consists of Employment Security Administration activities, which comprise only administration of unemployment compensation programs and employment offices.
  • Social services and income maintenance – Comprises the functions of Public welfare, Hospitals, Health, Social insurance administration, and Veterans' services.
  • Solid waste management – Street cleaning, solid waste collection and disposal, and provision of sanitary landfills.
  • Space research and technology – Federal space activities are primarily programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Special assessments – Compulsory contributions collected from owners of property benefited by special public improvements (street paving, sidewalks, sewer lines, etc.) to defray the cost of such improvements (either directly or through payment of debt service on indebtedness incurred to finance the improvements) and apportioned according to the assumed benefits to the property affected by the improvements.
  • Special district governments – All organized local entities (other than counties, municipalities, townships, or school districts) authorized by state law to provide only one or a limited number of designated functions, and with sufficient administrative and fiscal autonomy to qualify as separate governments; known by a variety of titles, including districts, authorities, boards, and commissions.
  • State government – The state government in each case consists of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government and all departments, boards, commissions, and other organizational units. It also includes any semi-autonomous authorities, institutions of higher education, districts, and other agencies that are subject to administrative and fiscal control by the State through its appointment of officers, determination of budgets, approval of plans, and other devices. As to all such agencies, financial information included in the Census reports represents their gross transactions with the public and other governments, rather than only the net effect of such transactions on central state funds. Each data item for a state government consists of the sum of amounts of the type described for all funds and accounts--including not only the general fund but also special revenue funds, sinking funds, public trust funds, bond funds, and all other special funds.

Back to top

T
  • Taxes – Compulsory contributions exacted by a government for public purposes except employee and employee assessments for retirement and social insurance purposes, which are classified as insurance trust revenue. All tax revenue is classified as general revenue and comprises amounts received (including interest and penalties but excluding protested amounts and refunds) from all taxes imposed by a government. Note that local government tax revenue excludes any amounts from shares of state-imposed and collected taxes, which are classified as Intergovernmental revenue.
  • Tobacco products sales taxes – See Sales and gross receipts taxes.
  • Township governments – Organized local governments authorized in state constitutions and statutes and established to provide general government for areas defined without regard to population concentration; includes those governments designated as towns in Connecticut, Maine (including organized plantations), Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire (including organized locations), New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin, and townships in other states.
  • Transit – Construction, maintenance, and operation of public mass transit systems--bus, commuter rail, light rail, or subway systems. Excludes systems established solely to transport elementary and secondary school pupils. Ferry systems are classified under Highways. See Utility.
  • Transit subsidies – Payments in support of subway, bus, surface rail and street railroad, and other passenger transportation systems, including public support of a private utility or railroad and intergovernmental subsidy payments. Excludes amounts paid by a parent government to its dependent transit utility. Also see Utility.
  • Transportation – Comprises the functions of Highways, Air transportation, Parking facilities, Water transport and terminals, and Transit subsidies.

Back to top

U
  • Unemployment compensation expenditure – Comprises payments made to beneficiaries under basic provisions of unemployment compensation programs and special program payments, such as for extended benefits triggered by economic conditions.
  • Utility – A government owned and operated water supply, electric light and power, gas supply, or transit system. Government revenue, expenditure, and debt relating to utility facilities leased to other governments or persons, and other commercial type activities of governments, such as port facilities, airports, housing projects, radio stations, steam plants, ferries, abattoirs, etc., are classified as general government activities. Also see Transit subsidies.
  • Utility debt – Debt originally issued specifically to finance government owned and operated water, electric, gas, or transit utility facilities.
  • Utility expenditure – Expenditure for construction of utility facilities or equipment, for production and distribution of utility commodities and services (except those furnished to parent government), and for interest on utility debt. Does not include expenditure in connection with administration of utility debt and investments (treated as general expenditure) and the cost of providing services to the parent government (such costs, when identifiable, are treated as expenditure for the function served).
  • Utility revenue – Revenue from sale of utility commodities and services to the public and to other governments. Does not include amounts from sales to the parent government. Also excludes income from utility fund investments and from other nonoperating properties (treated as General revenue). Any monies from taxes, special assessments, and intergovernmental revenue are classified as General revenue, not Utility revenue.

Back to top

V
  • Vendor payments – See Public welfare.
  • Veterans' services – Cash bonuses to veterans and other financial grants not contingent on need, administration of bonus payments, veterans' information and guidance services, and other veterans' services not classified under Public welfare, Education, Hospitals, or other functions.

Back to top

W
  • Water supply – Operation and maintenance of water supply system including acquisition and distribution of water to the general public or to other local governments for domestic or industrial use. Acquisition and distribution of water for irrigation of agricultural lands are classified under Natural resources. See Utility.
  • Water transport and terminals – Construction, maintenance, operation, and support of canals and other waterways, harbors, docks, wharves, and related marine terminal facilities.
  • Withdrawals – Amounts paid to employees or former employees or their survivors, representing return of contributions made by employees during the period of their employment, and any interest on such amounts. Also includes any transfers of investment holdings or reimbursements for benefits paid where another pension fund assumes responsibility for direct benefit payment to retirees.
  • Withdrawals, insurance trust – See Insurance trust expenditure.
  • Workers' compensation expenditure – Insurance trust expenditure for state-administered workers' compensation systems. Consists of cash benefit payments to injured workers covered by the system. Excludes state contributions to system on behalf of state employees and expenditure for administration.
  • Workers' compensation revenue – Employer premiums, assessments, and other contributions to state-administered workers' compensation systems and earnings on investments of systems. Excludes contributions by state governments for state employees covered by system.
  • Workers' compensation system – A state-administered plan for compulsory accident and injury insurance of workers through accumulation of assets from contributions collected from employers for financing cash benefits to eligible injured workers.

Back to top

X

Back to top

Y

Back to top

Z

Back to top


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Governments Division | (800) 242-2184 or govs.cms.inquiry@census.gov |  Last Revised: May 24, 2013